Living Our Best Life Project
“1 in 4 Australians aged over 15 report they experience loneliness. However research now shows that not only does this cause mental wellbeing problems but it can also be linked to physical health issues.”
– Australian Psychological Society 2018
This new project is working to connect communities to combat the issue.
Disconnection from the community increases the likelihood of loneliness. Even before the social restrictions introduced due to COVID-19, loneliness and social isolation have been growing problems in Australia, with some experts suggesting that as a society we are facing a ‘loneliness epidemic’. As well as affecting mental health, feeling lonely can pose a bigger risk for premature death than smoking or obesity, according to research by Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Brigham Young University in Utah, USA.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. A new project in Knox is working to address this growing issue. Living our Best Life project will connect people aged 65 and over with community groups and activities in the Knox area, using trained volunteers from within the community to reach as many vulnerable people as possible. Funded by Equity Trustees, the project is a partnership between CHAOS, the five Knox community houses and The Temple Society.
As well as community activities, the project aims to gain the support of local doctors and health workers to help link their patients aged 65 and over who may be experiencing loneliness, into community activities. This method of ‘social prescribing’ addresses peoples’ needs in a holistic way, recognising that health is dependent on a range of social, economic and environmental factors.
The project ultimately aims to strengthen the community, and to improve peoples’ well-being through social activities and contact.
For more information, if you know someone who may benefit from the project or want to get involved yourself, contact: